Fried Ripe Tomatoes
Fried tomatoes are an easy-to-make, late summer treat that couldn't be more delicious. We choose tomatoes that are ripe but still firm and coat them in a combination of lightly seasoned cornmeal and flour. Then they're shallow-fried until the coating is golden brown and the tomatoes are softened beneath the crust. They make a wonderful accompaniment to grilled pork or chicken, cole slaw and corn on the cob.
- 6 large, firm, ripe tomatoes
- 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
Core the tomatoes and slice them into 3/8-inch thick slices.
Mix the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Heat 1/4-inch of vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat.
Working in batches, dredge the tomato slices in the flour-cornmeal mixture and add to the hot oil. Fry for about 1-1/2 minutes per side, just until the coating is crisp and golden. Don't overcrowd the pan (see recipe notes).
Transfer the tomatoes to a paper towel-lined plate to blot the excess oil, then move to a large serving platter. Wipe the browned bits out of the pan, add more oil and repeat with the remaining tomatoes.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
For best results, be sure to keep close watch while you fry the tomatoes - you want to create a crispy coating, not cook the tomatoes to mush. Also, once cooked, try to keep the tomatoes in a single layer. If you stack them, the residual heat will create steam and make them mushy.